Final Blog

I can’t believe this is my last blog! This semester flew by. Looking back, I had to make a final schedule for my last semester before I graduate college. I only had one major class and one minor class and had three classes of my choice to take. I was struggling and constantly looking for what I could take. I came across this music class and thought it would be a good choice. I previously took another music class here and it was actually pretty hard! I chose music because it interests me and I didn’t want to take any classes that I knew nothing about or one that wouldn’t help me learn anything useful. I thought this class was interesting and fun. Although I had to work hard and study I felt like I could sit down and relax. Music just comforts me. I thought it was cool how we progressed from older music to newer. We covered so much! I like learning about new genres, new artists, new songs, and information. Some people may think blogs are a pain in the butt but I like it better than writing long, complicated papers. With blogs you can write your own thoughts and feelings and share it with others. My mom kept asking me just the other day how to get to my blog so she could read it. I think you can relate with others while reading blogs and look at everyone’s different thoughts. With music, everyone might have a different thought and opinion and I really like that. Clearly, we all have different music tastes but I could also see that we like similar things too. Going back to the questions you had about my Metallica/Thrash Metal presentation on what did I think about him going from “hush little baby don’t say a word” to yelling about nightmares. Well I thought it through and think that maybe that is what happened to him as a child. Maybe his parents told him it was going to be okay and just say your prayers and go to sleep. But when he went to bed the nightmares came and they didn’t stop. As you can see, the music video is very intense and some might think it is very odd that he is singing about this. I think their songs are relatable. They are about deep emotion, anger, sadness, feeling stuck or lost. Looking back, I listened to a lot of hard rock music that was depressing. A big part of why I listened and liked it was because I was depressed myself or felt the same feelings in which they were singing about. I think that happens with everyone at some point in their lives. You listen to anger songs when your angry, upbeat songs when your happy, sad songs when your upset. Or you could always listen to happy/upbeat songs when you’re feeling down to bring yourself back up again. When it comes to music there is so much to learn and explore, as I learned from this class. Now I can look into other genres and see what songs I like from them. I would be completely lost without music.



Last week we started music presentations in class. I looked at the handout given to us and noticed that I didn’t know many of the bands people chose to present on. I was excited to learn about these bands and listen to some songs. I don’t think I’ve actually listened to hardcore music before but maybe I have. It does sound similar to other songs I’ve listened to. I think because the music gets real heavy and the singer will yell or scream. I’ve never heard of the band Tribe Called Quest. The genre was very interesting. Of course I have heard of Guns N’ Roses before. For some reason I always want to mix them up with other bands like ACDC which is very odd. I think he has a very unique and high voice. I’ve also heard of Whiney Houston, Alice in Chains, Celine Dion, Destiny’s Child, Snoop Dog, Nirvana, Jay Z, Lee Ann Womack, and Falling in Reverse. Wow, I’m surprised I knew that many. Going back to Whitney, I know a couple of her really famous songs and I know how she can belt out notes! I also knew her from an old Disney movie, Cinderella. She was the singing fairy godmother. I never listened to Alice in Chains all that much. Man in the Box is the song that sticks out to me when I hear their name. I heard of them from listening to my favorite band, Three Days Grace cover some of their songs. I listened to some Celine Dion songs when I was younger along with other female artists popular in that time. It is kind of hard to explain her voice. It’s very throaty and she can hit high notes. Her songs are pretty catchy. I learned a lot about Destiny’s Child because I always thought it was just three girls. Beyoncé was always known and everyone else wonders “who are those other two girls??”I was never into Snoop Dogs music but I’ve heard of some of them. It was really interesting to see how he transitioned back and forth to many names and styles. Nirvana, how could you not hear about Nirvana?? I love a lot of their songs. I would listen to them a long time ago with my little step brother around. He ended up saying all the time, “Hey, wait, I got a new complaint.” Since I’m not extremely into rap I really don’t know any Jay Z songs. Not that long ago one of his songs featuring Justin Timberlake was playing all the time on the radio, so I know that one. I know he is married to Beyoncé too. Lee Ann Womack, how do I know her? Hmmm I think it is from her song I Hope You Dance. I must see her on television or somewhere a lot because I definitely know what she looks like. The video showed to us in class surprised me because it didn’t seem like her style. It was really different from I Hope You Dance. I didn’t understand why all the snakes kept appearing. I’m guessing it’s about struggling with hard times and trying to get over it. When talking about Falling in Reverse I find that either people really don’t like the lead singer or they really don’t like the lead singer of Escape the Fate, which is the old band he was in. I think that they both have good voices and I like their music. A while ago there was a huge controversy (probably more than one) about Ronnie (the lead singer). I can’t remember what he did or said but it made me not like him as much. Like it was mentioned in class, he did change their style and incorporated rap. I didn’t like the sound at all but I do like some of their other songs. Jumping back to the artists I didn’t know, Selena, Steam-Powered Giraffe, and Bonobo. I thought they all brought something different and interesting to the table. I can say that I’ve never heard or seen anything quite like them before. I enjoyed watching everyone’s presentations. They were all so different and I learned a lot from it.

Michael Jackson!

As I said in class, I really like Michael Jackson’s music but didn’t know too much about him. I knew he started out singing very young, he was a very talented dancer, he was black then his skin was white, and that he was involved in some incident with a baby. I know at least one of his songs are on rock band or guitar hero. He was also called The King of Pop and sold millions of albums. Michael has a very distinct voice. When he is singing you have to know it’s him. I can honestly say I’ve never heard a voice like Michael’s before. Michael’s voice is smooth and he can hit some extraordinary notes. He has this powerful, strong, and a little bit raspy kind of voice. He is a natural singer. You also know it is Michael singing because he always said Eeee heee! His music videos are interesting. I like his videos because it grabs your attention and they are actually about something. They are all different and have something unique about them. Today a lot of music videos really don’t have a meaning or anything interesting about them. They mainly focus on “the looks” of the artist. Music videos today seem like they are all the same. They don’t tell a story or pull you in, wanting to see what is next. Michael’s videos are creative and artistic. I love all the dancing he does. He is awesome at moonwalking! For my senior variety show I was in a group dance. We did about 3 or 4 different songs and one of them was Thriller. We tried our best to do it the way they did it in the video. It was actually way harder than I expected! It took a ton of practice. I know a lot of Michael’s songs but some of my favorite songs by Michael are “Thriller”, “Black or White”, “Beat It”, “Billie Jean”, “Smooth Criminal” and “Bad.” I don’t know how you can’t get the urge to dance or sing to Michael’s songs. I think they are some of the best dance songs because of the beat. Not only do you pay attention to Michael’s voice but to all the sounds in the background. A lot of them are fast paced, they are dance songs! I think if he was still living today he would continue to make amazing music, unique and different from anyone else. I would have really liked to have gone to one of Michael’s concerts. It would have been amazing! He was a great entertainer and singer.


Not that long ago I could not stand country music. Every time it would come on the radio I would start making noises as if I were in pain or change it as fast as I could. If I was shopping somewhere, with friends, parents, whoever…and country music came on I would immediately look at them and say, “We need to LEAVE!” Of course I was not that serious about it, just joking around but I really did not like country music. I think the reason was that I just heard Taylor Swift all the time. Her music was played constantly and it still is today (she’s more pop than country today). My outlook on country music completely changed a few years ago when I heard “Cruise” on the radio. Cruise is by a band called Florida Georgia Line. They are the first country band and country songs I really liked. Some people say they are “way too country” and they can’t believe I listen to them but I absolutely love their music. My fiancé was really into rap music and sometimes rock but he would never listen to country either. Now, I can’t help but laugh because when we are in the car not only does he listen to country music but he knows more songs than I do and sings along to them! We went to our first country concert last summer at the Clearfield Country Fair, to see Florida Georgia Line. I’ve been to several concerts before, pop concerts, rock concerts, etc. but they were not like this one. My fiancé has not been to many concerts, just to a few rock concerts with me but we both had the same thoughts about the crowd and atmosphere at this concert. There was a great deal of people dressed “country” and MOST people around us were drinking beer. Before the show even started too many people were too drunk to even stand up. They were acting crazy and not caring what they did, not caring if they bumped into you, or if you saw what they were doing. It is like that at other concerts too but you kind of just had to be there to feel the difference. The concert and the music was great. They sound exactly like they do on their cds. They are very talented and entertaining. Anyway, the country songs we listened to in class were not the kind of country songs I would listen to particularly but they were okay. Some of them were really meaningful and I like that about songs. I think some country songs are actually really sad. One of the great aspects about some country music is that it does have real emotion, real meaning, or great dance/party music. They aren’t all about beer, girls, or trucks. Now that I think about it, I actually listened to quite a few country songs when I was younger. I had one of the Dixie Chicks albums and had mixed cds with country songs on it that my aunt made me. I do think people should give country music a chance like I did (listen to Florida Georgia Line!!!!) There are some very unique voices, cool electric and acoustic guitar playing, and interesting lyrics. I found some artists and songs I really like and I think they could too. I never thought I would like it so much!

Punk! And Reflection!

When I was in high school I was labeled or thought of as a punk or “emo”. Probably because I wore black all the time…black shirts, black jeans, black shoes and I listened to different music than most people. Maybe it was because I got in trouble at school a lot (not major trouble) or they thought I had a “rebellious attitude”. I didn’t think of myself as a punk. I thought I knew about punk music but after talking about it in class, I don’t think I really did. Punk started as garage bands. We talked about the different kinds of art…the plain picture of the banana that was actually pink inside and the art that was peed on that showed different colors. I thought it was really cool to see the virtual tour of the NYC club that hosted the first punk bands. The stage was very small and there were papers and memories all over the walls, everywhere you looked! Patti Smith’s song Gloria was very simple. It was only three chords so it was easy to play. I personally did not like the song, it’s not my style. I think because I am religious and have strong beliefs is part of the reason. Also I think I can only stand a certain amount of ignorance. Just meaning that I like songs that can be rebellious or make a point, sometimes it is just harder to listen to some of the words in some songs than others. It makes you feel a certain way. But I do believe every person has their own thoughts, opinions, and beliefs. In class we talked about how some songs were banned in some places. All the punk songs we listened to didn’t appeal to me musically because I really like listening to what the instruments are doing in the background, powerful solos, deep/meaningful lyrics, and uniqueness of voices. This past few week’s material has been very interesting because we went from Folk Revival to New Wave. We covered Funk, Motown, British Invasion, Psychedelic Rock, Surf Rock, Studio Rock, British Blues Revival, Rock, Acid Rock, Heavy Metal, Progressive Rock, Soul, Singer/Songwriter, Glam Rock, Disco, and Punk. There are so many genres! They all bring something unique to music. I discovered many songs I like, heard a lot of old and new songs, and learned a lot along the way. All the time now I get one of the songs we listened to in class stuck in my head.:)



This week in class we continued the 70’s. I know of lot of 70’s songs because my mom had bought me a 70’s collection when I was very young. I think I first saw it on TV and begged someone to buy it for me. It’s kind of funny since they always advertised kid’s collections such as Kidz Bop but I decided I liked the 70’s hits. Sometimes just out of nowhere I’ll start singing one of the songs on the albums and my mom will just laugh at me because she can’t believe I remember so many. I think a good amount of those song are fun/funny songs. Songs such as “Car Wash” by Rose Royce, “You Sexy Thing” by Hot Chocolate, “Play that Funky Music” by Wild Cherry, and “Macho Man” by the Village People. They’re dance songs! Disco! When you listen to these songs you can tell they are disco. It has a very distinct sound. Some people may think it’s kind of lame but I think it’s awesome that back then teens dressed up for dates and went out to a disco dance. It seems like it would be a fun thing to do once and a while. I thought it was interesting to see the examples of “Disco takes over everything”. I didn’t know that disco started in gay bars. Also I didn’t really know anything about the YMCA song. I had no idea what it meant. The class was definitely shocked and so was I! I’ve never heard of or seen the “Disco Sucks” controversy. Similar to the other student’s opinions, I think these people saw more and more people joining in and they thought…”I’m not going to get in trouble”, “everyone else is doing this”, “this could make the news or history”, “it’s time for new music”, or “this looks fun and I’ll just join just because!” They did seem kind of serious and felt very strongly about disco though. Just like with the smashing of instruments, when they were burning and blowing up the records, I was just thinking “Noo! You don’t need to do that! Just keep them, you don’t have to listen to them!”:) I did really like the comment about disco satisfying people’s dance needs and how rock music helps with emotional/relating needs. I think that is true. Disco was good for dance and just to have fun!


Class Discussion!

During this week’s discussion we talked about a lot of familiar bands and artists…David Bowie (Ziggy Stardust), Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix, and Joni Mitchell. Even though they were familiar from their names I actually never really listened to any of them too much. Since I like rock/hard rock I’m not sure why or how I never got into Black Sabbath. I know just a few songs and I believe they have some songs on either guitar hero or rock band (which I used to play a long time ago). We talked about their album cover. It’s very dark and gloomy. It’s black with a red tint. It has a house, tree, and a man or a woman standing in the middle. We talked about the thunder, rain, and bell at the beginning of their song and how many other songs begin that way. Their music really emphasizes the guitar, it stands out and the drums do too. I know that Jimi Hendrix is famous for his amazing guitar playing. I think it is really different from anyone else’s guitar playing. I know his songs “Purple Haze”, “Foxy Lady”, “Voodoo Child”, and probably more I just don’t know all the names of them. In his videos I saw that he has a very unique clothing style, he can play guitar with his teeth or behind his head, and he set his guitar on fire and smashed it. I think it is pretty difficult playing guitar with your hands let alone with your teeth! I have no idea how he did it! We also talked about how some artists smash their guitar/drums/instruments after a show. When I see or hear that I can’t even look because I would never be able to smash one of my guitars. Even if it wasn’t an expensive one. When I see bands smashing their instruments I just think “Nooooo, why are you doing that??” Anyway, we also talked about Joni Mitchell and her song “All I Want”. The class gave their opinions about what they thought the song meant. It seems simple and we think we know what she is talking about, but do we? The song sounds like she is in a complicated relationship. “How you hurt me baby so I hurt you too then we both get so blue.” It sounds like she wants to make the relationship better and keep trying. She sings about so many things she wants to do for him, “be the one that you want to see, knit you a sweater, write you a love letter, make you feel better, make you feel free.” I liked hearing what everyone thought about the song and what they thought the lyrics meant. That is what I love about music, finding a meaning from the lyrics or relating to the music. It is also why I mention in all my other blogs that now, music isn’t as meaningful or thoughtful. Lastly I just wanted to talk about the Ziggy Stardust video we watched. I think the makeup and outfit did make him look more feminine. It was interesting how we talked about how other artists wore makeup and about the messages they send. Once I thought about it I know so many bands that wear makeup, Motley Crue, Twisted Sister, KISS, Ozzy, Ratt, Cinderella, Poison, etc.

The Beatles

I was really excited when we started talking about the Beatles. I listened to them a lot when I was younger and know many of their songs. After talking about them in class I learned so many things I didn’t know about them and realized things I’ve never noticed before. I am more familiar with the “old Beatles” and their older songs. Although all their songs are very different and unique, most of their old songs were more pop like, upbeat, songs you wanted to dance to and sing out loud with them. Some songs that pop in my head would be “Ticket To Ride”, “Day Tripper”, “Eight Days A Week” and “A Hard Day’s Night”. As time went on they “transformed”, as seen on the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band cover. I never noticed there were two pictures of them on that cover. Their look and sound were very different from before. I thought it was interesting about how in “A Hard Day’s Night” the first chord played is famous. I’ve heard some of “A Day In The Life” I guess just until the first “crazy noise jumble” because I’ve never heard that before. When we listened to it in class I was kind of just thinking “What is that?!” I believe it was the instruments being played backwards. I think along with the other students in class it kind of makes you feel uncomfortable listening to those parts. But the song starts out with a calm, sad feeling, changes to the fast backward music, all of a sudden happy and upbeat, back to the backward music, then ends with a big finish, the strong extended final note. I like how their music is so different. You really have to sit down and try to figure out what they are trying to say sometimes. I’ve been looking up more songs I have never listened to before. They have so many! I just came across “Across The Universe” and thought it was a beautiful song. I like everything about the song. His voice is so calm and steady, the peaceful guitar playing, the guitar whammy, the power in his voice when he repeats “nothing’s gonna change my world”, and the background quiet ah’s. Their music is real music, it is about real feeling and real meaning. You really don’t see that at all in today’s popular music. I still listen to the Beatles pretty often. I’ve seen two different bands live that look, dress like, and sound like the Beatles. The one was at my hometown a long time ago and the second one was here at IUP’s Kovalchick Center. They were called “Rain”. It was a great show. I would of loved to see the real Beatles live!

Class Discussion!

This week’s class was fun and interesting. I recognized many of the artists and songs we listened to and learned a lot of new things I didn’t know. I didn’t know these popular dance songs I liked were Motown songs. Motown’s musical style is blended with R&B and pop with many girl groups and ballads such as the Marvellettes, the Miracles, Martha and the Vandellas, the Temptations, and the Supremes. As I was listening to many of these artists, I just get the feeling of wanting to dance even if it’s a slow song. So many aspects come together to make it great music…the instruments, the group working together, their passion, the beat. They are catchy and upbeat songs and other songs are soft and laid back. Also looking and listening to these songs it just makes you realize how different music is today and it is nothing close to this (for the most part). They dressed nicely and focused on the music. Now, the more outrageous and eccentric, “the better.”

In class we also talked about Bob Dylan. I thought the two videos we watched about him were interesting. The first video he was on a plain stage. It wasn’t well put together and people were all around him. He stood in one spot and played acoustic guitar and a harmonica. The second video the background looked more concert like. It was dark with lights on him. He was playing electric guitar and moved around the stage. It was an interesting transition from acoustic to electric.

Lastly, I just wanted to mention James Brown. The video we watched was him performing his song “Please please please” As I was listening to it, I didn’t expect him to scream. Then as it kept going, he kept doing it over and over again. I was kind of surprised people liked that. The crowd went crazy over him though! I think maybe the reason I thought that people wouldn’t like it that much is because I listen to a lot of rock, heavy rock, metal, and I know a lot of people don’t like when they scream or yell. I do think his video was entertaining to watch and he had a good voice. I also thought it was hilarious when you imitated him. Aaaaaaahhhh!

Chapter 22

This week we talked about a lot of familiar artists…Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Ray Charles, Chuck Berry, and Buddy Holly. I was most excited to talk about Elvis. I have a few all-time favorite singers and he is definitely one of them. Elvis is one of the artists I wish I could of seen live in concert. I first heard Elvis when I was very young. I lived with my grandparents and we had an old record player that we would play his records on. I think Elvis has a one of a kind voice and when I listen to him I just kind of get in a trance or something. He could sing soft and sweetly in songs such as “Can’t Help Falling In Love” and “Love Me Tender” or sing raspy, upbeat, and powerful in “Hound Dog”, and “Jailhouse Rock” and it would just make you want to get up and dance. I know that he is well known for his “handsome/good looks”, his dance moves (Elvis with the pelvis), being “The King of Rock and Roll”, and his unique musical style. He also has a daughter named Lisa Marie Presley. She is also a singer and has three albums: “To Whom It May Concern”, “Now What”, and “Storm & Grace”. Elvis recorded many songs and had many hits, he served in the Army, appeared in movies such as Blue Hawaii, and appeared on television shows such as The Ed Sullivan Show.

Elvis made a huge impact on music. He was the most successful artist of the mid-1950s, when rock and roll was flourishing. He started out young (19) and unfortunately died at 42. I thought it was interesting in the reader when Phillips said in his interview about how Elvis was introverted. He didn’t play with bands and he thought he just played inside his home but not even on the porch. It just makes you think about what he thought about all his success and people going crazy over him.

Elvis was and I think, still is a huge hit. In stores I see things you can buy that has his face or name on it (especially around Christmas), a channel on television that only plays Elvis’ music, and his music is often played on the radio today. I didn’t realize that some of Elvis’ songs were country style such as “That’s All Right, Mama”. It’s impressive that he could swoop his voice almost two octaves at times.

Other interesting facts about Elvis Presley:

In New York City’s Hard Rock Café there is a piece there that belonged to Elvis that is preserved in a glass case. (I forget if it was a shirt or a guitar but I know I took a picture of it!)

When I visited Hawaii, there was a huge billboard of him right beside our hotel. I tried looking it up online but could not find it anywhere.

I actually listened to Elvis songs the entire time I wrote this.:)